Sunday, January 22, 2012

Class Notes
City College
Shepard Hall, City College
My weeknights are filled with extracurricular activities right now.  Here's what kept me busy this past week:

1) Hebrew - We're reading through 2 Kings; this week we got up to King Josiah and his sweeping reforms. Very exciting stuff. If you find biblical history to be exciting. And I do.

After 2 Kings, we'll move to Isaiah.  I'm SO excited to dig into this book: although the Hebrew will be harder to translate (prophecy being filled with idioms & poetic imagery), there are so many familiar, oft-quoted texts in Isaiah.  So many we recently heard or sung during the Christmas season.  Looking forward to reading them in their original context.

At the end of class this week, as my teacher and I were chatting, she started to ask, "So when are you..." - her standard preamble to one of two questions. Always the same two questions, lovingly asked and sometimes preceded with the disclaimer, "Now, I don't want to "Jewish mother" you, but..."   So I readied myself to hear either (a) ...when are you going to Israel? or (b) ...when are you going to seminary?  

It was the latter, this time around. I answered as I always do, "I don't know.  Maybe some day."  Maybe some day.

2) Improv - I've been in an Improv slump lately, of Pauline proportions.  Meaning, when I get on stage, I don't do the things I want to do, and I do do the things I don't want to do.

I can't seem to break old habits (reverting to playing the same types of characters, making the same types of choices in scenes) and though I can picture where I'd like to take things (being bolder, playing freer) I don't see myself making much progress in that direction.  It's frustrating.

I read something somewhere once (I'm not 100% that it was even in relation to Improv) that said when you feel like you're hitting a wall, the answer isn't to quit.  It's: keep butting your head against that wall until you break through it.

I don't think that advice works for every situation, but I'm willing to try it for this current wall, which I suspect is made of fear, and thus worth shattering.  Onwards, again, into the wall...

3) Voice lessons -  We'd been working on Christmas music before the break, so at my first voice lesson of the new year, a new song was in order.  My teacher suggested Stars and the Moon from Jason Robert Brown's "Songs for a New World."  I wasn't familiar with it, but now I kinda love it!  The first chorus actually reminds me of my relationship with God, sometimes: 
"He said..."I'll give you stars and the moon and a soul to guide you
And a promise I'll never go
I'll give you hope to bring out all the life inside you
And the strength that will help you grow.
I'll give you truth and a future that's twenty times better
Than any Hollywood plot."
And I thought, "You know,
I'd rather have a yacht."
I don't want an actual yacht, but my metaphorical yacht is all the dreams I'm clinging to with closed fists, convinced that This. Is. What. I. Really. Want.  Unable to trust that God might have something twenty times better.

Oh, life.  So much to learn.

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